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The one hundred honoree: Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD

Innovation Story

The one hundred honoree: Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD

Mass General Giving

Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD, is director of the Mass General Center for Systems Biology, head of the Laboratory for Molecular Imaging within the Mass General Department of Radiology, and professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. A leading authority on the development of molecular tools to image tumor cells, Dr. Weissleder also maintains his clinical practice as a gastrointestinal radiologist.

Among Dr. Weissleder’s discoveries are dextran-coated particle dyes that noninvasively distinguish benign from tumor-infiltrated lymph nodes. When intravenously injected, the dyes are absorbed only by normal lymph nodes. Dr. Weissleder’s team has also developed nanoscale magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices capable of measuring minute numbers of tumor cells from needle biopsy specimens.

“By combining exceptional technical innovation with a keen appreciation of clinical needs and opportunities,” says Mass General Cancer Center Director Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, “Dr. Weissleder has emerged as one of the most inspiring leaders in the field of cancer imaging and diagnostics. His exceptional ability to combine real and pressing clinical needs with the most revolutionary and creative imaging technologies are poised to have a major impact on the care of cancer patients everywhere.”